There’s a lot that can be detected about your dog’s health through his poop. As a pet owner, you’ve most likely gotten used to what is considered normal for your dog. This is important to know because when there is a change from this, it can be an indicator that your dog isn’t feeling well. He may not be experiencing any other obvious symptoms right away but if there is a change in your dog’s stool, such as mucus or blood, then it’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian for a checkup.
This type of symptom is one that is important enough to make a special appointment with your veterinary clinic versus waiting until your dog’s next appointment. Watch for other changes in physical appearance or behavior that may indicate your dog isn’t feeling well. Keep an eye on irregular bowel movements and any potential food allergies that could lead to a bacterial infection in the digestive tract.
Symptoms of Mucus in a Dog’s Poop
Though mucus is a symptom in of itself, there are other symptoms your dog may experience when it appears. These include abdominal pain or tenderness, diarrhea, lack of appetite, dehydration, and/or vomiting in dogs. When these symptoms occur, it shows your dog’s body is rejecting whatever is happening on the inside. Whether it’s an infection, parasites, or a virus, there is something foreign that isn’t agreeing with your dog’s bodily functions.
If your dog is typically playful and running and jumping around, but you notice he is walking slowly and doesn’t want to engage with others, that’s symptomatic that he’s feeling ill. If your dog hasn’t eaten his full dish of food or drank his dish of water throughout the day, that’s also a sign that things may be wrong.
Because dogs can’t communicate with you through words, it’s even more important that you pay attention to their behavior. Even if there are times when your dog seems like he’s acting out or being more aggressive, it could mean that he is in pain or discomfort.
Track his symptoms and how often they’re happening. Give this full report to the veterinarian when you make the appointment. By doing a full assessment and gathering information from you, he or she can more accurately diagnose the problem.
Causes of Mucus a Dog’s Poop
Mucus in the poop can be a result of a number of conditions ranging from toxin overload to parasites to diseases like autoimmune disorders or cancer. Before you think the worst, know that mucus found in the stool is not the problem itself but rather the body’s way of showing you something is wrong. Since pets can’t communicate their pain to us through words, these symptoms help detect when your dog is feeling ill.
Your veterinarian will likely want you to collect a stool sample to bring with you to the veterinary assessment. It’s also best to write down any helpful details that may be relevant to your dog’s symptoms. For example, did your dog recently rummage through the garbage and eat something he shouldn’t have? Eating garbage can cause a bacterial infection in the digestive tract that may lead to bloody stools or excessive mucus in stool. While your veterinarian will make an official diagnosis, it could be that your dog is experiencing food poisoning as a result of blood in stool or the mucus production. Though serious, it can be diagnosed and remedied more quickly than other medical conditions such as cancer.
The mucus in his stool could be a result of something rotten that he accidentally ate. However, if your dog is also vomiting, experiencing lethargy, or has become more aggressive lately, these could all be indicators that he is in deep pain and discomfort due to something more serious. If your dog presents with multiple symptoms, the veterinarian may decide to run multiple tests following a full assessment. Blood work and x-rays can create a more complete look at your dog’s current health and what could be the root cause of his symptoms.
The range of causes vary widely so your dog’s diagnosis must come from your veterinarian so you know what kind of treatment plan to start. Even if your dog’s ailment is temporary, it’s still best to get him checked out or receive the advice from your veterinary professional as to how to proceed next. A case of food poisoning may not necessarily require a trip to the veterinary clinic but rather mild foods and plenty of water to keep your dog hydrated. It will be up to your veterinarian to decide the best route of care.
Diagnosis of Mucus in Dog’s Poop
There are times that your veterinarian will not be able to determine what is causing mucus in your dog’s poop from a physical examination alone. Usually, it’s the dog stool sample itself that can provide more answers.
If your dog has intestinal parasites, these will only be visible through a microscopic look at the sample. Parasites can be transmitted between pets and can be found in contaminated water sources. They develop inside your dog’s intestinal tract and feed off his blood. Depending on the type of parasite it is, it can live inside the intestine for several years without being detected. Meaning, your dog could experience symptoms off and on depending on how the parasites are affecting him.
A veterinarian may prescribe medication to get rid of the parasite, which would then eliminate the mucus in the stool and other associated symptoms. However, there are different treatments depending on your dog’s specific case and health history. What may work for one dog may not be the best route of care for yours. That’s why a full evaluation and complete medical history are important to consider before prescribing any treatment.
Mucus can also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition like inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or cancer. Each of these come with their own course of treatment dependent on your dog’s current health and the severity of the disease. Mucus is not a symptom that will necessarily go away on its own, especially in these more serious situations. If the symptom continues for more than a day or increases, then contact your veterinarian right away if you’ve not already done so.
Treatment for Dogs with Mucus in Their Poop
There is no one treatment that will cover all conditions that involve mucus in the stool as a symptom. It depends on what other symptoms your dog is experiencing. Treatment is also dependent on your pet’s current history, his age, breed, and current medications. All of it plays a part in a full treatment plan.
Medication is commonly prescribed for problems with parasites, infections, or viruses. If your dog is suffering from dehydration or lack of nutrition, he may receive food or liquids intravenously. Some conditions may require surgery and others may include treatment that addresses improving your dog’s quality of life, rather than being able to provide a cure for the disease at hand.
If your dog has mucus due to a short-lived condition, your veterinarian may still recommend a change in your dog’s diet or exercise plan. The healthier your dog is, the stronger his immune still will be to help fight off diseases and infections. Does your dog follow a regular diet of whole or organic foods? Or, does his dog food have several additives or other chemicals? Do you take your dog on walks regularly or does he barely get outside for exercise?
Check your dog’s current dietary regimen. If he has a sensitive stomach, altering his diet could be especially valuable for his future health. But even if he does not typically have digestive or stomach problems, the food he eats plays a big part in his overall wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered a healthy stool sample?
It’s easier to define what is not considered a healthy stool sample. If your dog’s poop is hard or it looks like he is strained, it can be a problem associated with his diet or digestive system. The same can be said if your dog’s poop is more watery than usual or has added mucus or blood. Abnormalities such as these deserve a call to the veterinary office.
How do I know when to call the veterinarian?
The first time you notice mucus in your dog’s poop, it can be alarming. Consider what other symptoms, if any, he is experiencing. Also, take into account how often your dog has exhibited bloody mucus in bowel movements. If you have any questions at all, it doesn’t ever hurt to connect with your veterinarian for answers. Provide as much information as you can about your dog’s symptoms and your veterinarian can decide with you if it’s best to bring your dog in.
If I find mucus production in my dog’s poop, will he need medication?
Not necessarily. Depending on what the symptom is indicative of, your dog’s illness may be temporary and his symptoms may subside. Your veterinarian can give you a diagnosis and treatment plan after providing a full assessment and any necessary tests.
What’s worse – bloody stools or mucus in my dog’s poop?
It’s not uncommon for both mucus and blood in stool to appear together. While is not considered more severe than the other, each could be an indicator of different things. Again, the accuracy of details that you provide your veterinarian is important to create as clear of picture of the situation as possible.
Are there other common symptoms associated with mucus in a dog’s poop?
Sometimes diarrhea occurs at the same time, which could then lead to dehydration in your dog. This can then cause your dog to become more lethargic. However, even a singular symptom is a reason to be aware of your dog’s change in health. Something that seems minor can be an indicator of a bigger problem and it’s better to address it sooner rather than later.
Caring for a Sick Pet
When your pet is feeling ill, it can be tough knowing you can’t truly detect the level of pain or discomfort he’s in. You can create a comfortable environment for him until he’s able to see the veterinarian for treatment. Follow the veterinarian’s recommendations for care so your dog can have the best quality of life.
Whether it’s a short-term or long-term illness your pet is suffering from, it’s no fun for either of you. The best thing you can do is keep your pet as healthy and comfortable as possible. Sometimes the treatment for bloody mucus in stool involves improving your dog’s quality of life, while in other cases, the veterinarian is able to fully remedy the situation.
As your pet gets older, it’ll be easier to detect when something is wrong. You’ll know his behavior patterns and be familiar with life day-to-day. Any disruption in his routine should be noticeable and you’ll know when cause for concern is necessary.
Whatever special needs or attention your dog may need, make sure to communicate them with everyone who cares for your dog. This includes updating medical records where he is boarded or goes to daycare. It includes having his current routine readily available for friends or family members who may temporarily look after your pet. There are preventative tools and precautions you can put into place, but being prepared for anything is really what it comes down to when caring for a pet.
Maintaining Your Dog’s Health
In many cases, when mucus appears in your dog’s poop, the conditions that cause it are treatable and temporary. When your dog reaches a recovery phase, it’s important to maintain his hydration and nutritional intake. It’s also a good idea to take it easy for a few extra days, since illness can take a toll on his energy.
Do what you can to eliminate possible risks or toxins from your dog’s day-to-day life. Toxins found in food, cleaning products, pollution, and other everyday items can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system and liver production. By keeping these organs functioning well, it will help combat certain diseases or illnesses from occurring. This is a healthy shift for your dog, but can also be a good transition for yourself. Follow up on any of your veterinarian’s recommendations and report any changes during your dog’s recovery or at your dog’s next checkup.
The combination of becoming more knowledgeable about what certain symptoms could mean for your dog, being proactive with his health care, and keeping a close relationship with the veterinarian, you can set your dog on a good path with healthy habits for life.
- Farricelli, Adrienne Janet. “15 Causes of Mucus in Dog’s Stool.” PetHelpful, 10 Feb. 2018, Accessed 7 Dec. 2017. www.pethelpful.com/dogs/Causes-of-Mucous-in-Dogs-Stool.
- “How to Treat Mucus Stool in Dogs.” PetMD, Accessed 7 Dec. 2017. www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/how-treat-mucus-stool-dogs.
- “Mucus in Dog Stool.” PetMD, Accessed 7 Dec. 2017. www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_dg_mucus_in_stool.
- “Mucus in the Stool in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost.” WagWalking, 9 June 2016, Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.